Thursday, September 29, 2005

When Country Wasn't Cool

OK, there are a couple of scenarios where time definitely slows down to an unbearable Dali clock-melting pace: when you’re running on a treadmill, attending Mass at any time other than Christmas Eve, watching an episode of “Family Matters”, or when you’re onstage at a comedy club and the crowd is looking at you silently wishing they could use their eyes to give you diphtheria. Or mesothelioma. Or something else that attorneys who advertise during daytime talk shows say you can sue for. If it were up to last night’s audience, I would have spent the last 18 hours wrapped in a smallpox blanket. Wearing an asbestos sweater. And watching Steve Urkel.

Last night was Round 2 of the Blue Collar Comedy Contest and yeah, I’m not blue collar enough. Apparently, they don’t want the blue collar to be attached to a polo shirt with a little crocodile stitched on it. Let me back up and say that despite my Nell-like Appalachian upbringing, my mother ingrained a sense of, uh, entitlement into her children. Our house was pretty much the intersection of Vanity Fair and the Dixie Classic Fair. Anyway, somehow I made it to the second round of this contest, which is sort of a dubious achievement considering that Round 1 featured a guy who spent most of his stage time hiding behind a stool, popping up occasionally like he was in the middle circle of the Whack-a-Mole game.

Let me interject that the local WB station was promoting this contest which explains both 1) why there were only 8 people in the crowd and 2) why said people smelled of Skoal and some type of jerky—and not from eating it…my guess is that they were capable of making their own. Actually, that’s a lie… there were some other attendees who were all part of the speed-dating crowd that comes there every Wednesday. Trust me, I’ve been on several unintentional speed dates, all of which ended with them racing off, Prefontaine like, when they heard my answer to the question “So, you screw on the first date?” Apparently, they were hoping that I didn’t.
Still, I was watching the crowd as they walked in and realized it would be easier to find Paris Hilton’s hymen than to make them laugh. Yes, that phrase alone will guarantee an additional 400 site views. Hooray!

Anyway, they set the lineup for the show and I was first on the list, which for me was the comedy equivalent of watching that creepy video in The Ring--you just know you're doomed. Seriously, the guys in the audience were expecting Blue Collar Comedy, not "Nancy Drew and the Mysterious Jokes about Babies"--and really didn't want to see a woman onstage unless she's dancing to a Whitesnake song.

So I begged and pleaded to be moved down the lineup card but it wasn’t happening. I was up first. Consequently, if you would like to recreate the sense of general awkwardness that occurred for 6 minutes while I was onstage, I suggest that you wait until an intimate moment with your partner and then start singing “Oh Mein Papa”. Or Suzanne Vega’s “Luka”. Yes, that’s about right…mid-pelvic thrust start shouting lyrics about child abuse. Congratulations and welcome to my life!

Do I think I would’ve made it to the next round if I’d been further down the list? Actually, yeah. Do I think I’d win? No, not really. There are some really talented comics left. I just think that it would’ve been a lot less painful. And I may have even scored some free jerky.


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An A-List Celebrity said...

Blue collar comedy sucks. J rocks. Jerky makes me sick to my stomach. The end.